The Vatican denounced an American nun, Sister Margaret A. Farley, on Monday for her theological teachings in support of same-sex relationships, remarriage after divorce and masturbation.
In her awarding-winning 2006 book, Just Love: A Framework For Christian Sexual Ethics, Sister Farley writes that “masturbation … usually does not raise any moral questions at all.” Sister Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy and a professor of Christian ethics at Yale University, also wrote:
“[S]ame-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities … therefore same-sex oriented persons as well as their activities can and should be respected whether or not they have a choice to be otherwise.” Keep reading »
Lauren Odes, 29, of New Jersey, has filed a lawsuit alleging gender and religious discrimination against her former employers after she was supposedly fired for being “too attractive.” In April, Odes was hired at lingerie distributor Native Intimates in New York City, which is run by Orthodox Jews, to do data entry. (Odes herself is Jewish, but more secular.) Almost immediately, her supervisor told her that she was “too hot” and her breasts were “too big”; she was also asked to tape down her boobs. On her second day at work, when her outfit — a tee shirt and jeggings — still upset her employers, they told her to put on a bathrobe they had in the office. Odes said she then left the office to go buy herself a more “modest” outfit — and got fired while she was shopping. Keep reading »
Those little tramps are at it again. The nefarious-cookie sellers are trying to pull a fast one on us! The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched an official inquiry on the Girl Scouts out of concern that scouting materials contain links to other groups like Oxfam, the Sierra Club, and Doctors Without Borders, which support family planning and contraception. Apparently the connection here is that some Girl Scout troops are held in Catholic churches. Mind you, Oxfam works to end world poverty, the Sierra Club is an environmental organization, and Doctors Without Borders supports medical professionals in conflict zones. Nevertheless, those tenuous links to the Girl Scouts are “problematic,” say the bishops.
Sigh. Can’t we just leave the poor Girl Scouts alone already? [New York Times] Keep reading »
Dating is hard enough. But what about dating when you’ve recently left an insular religious community that pretty much forbade interaction with the opposite sex?
Such is the problem faced by ex-Orthodox Jews who are “Off the Derech” (derech is Hebrew for path), or OTD, and assimilating into secular society. Hasidic communities separate boys and girls while young; girls often marry around 18 or 19, while boys tie the knot in their early 20s, having children shortly after. Touching members of the opposite sex to whom you are not related is forbidden and interaction is generally discouraged. Is it any wonder ex-Orthodox Jews are utterly bamboozled when it comes to l’amour?
That’s where dating coach Israel Irenstein comes in. Keep reading »
A few weeks ago, an article in the Orthodox Jewish newspaper The Jewish Press began to make waves in the religious community. Yitta Halberstam, a well-known Jewish author, wrote about the process of trying to find her son a wife. In her part of the Jewish community (a right-wing faction of Orthodoxy sometimes known as yeshivish), it’s not uncommon for a professional shadchan (matchmaker) to pair up young eligible men and women. A shadchan who makes a successful shidduch (match) can be paid well for their services. However, there has been a recent “shidduch crisis,” which is that there are more prospective brides than grooms. Orthodox boys are waiting longer to marry, while girls are essentially considered over the hill if they’re not married by 18 or 19.
One way that shadchanim (the plural of shadchan) have tried to solve this issue is by hosting events where mothers can meet and interview prospective daughters-in-law. Halberstam attended one of these events and she admitted that the whole process made her uncomfortable. However, as the mother of an eligible bachelor and therefore someone in a position of relative power, Halberstam could have called off the whole thing and pointed out how awkward and unfair it was to the young women involved.
Instead, she penned a long rant about how young women should wear more makeup and their families should be willing to pay for plastic surgery if that’s what it takes to land a husband. Keep reading »
Most women have to ward off horny creatures on a daily basis, but the one that Phoenix teenagers Brynne, Tess and Savannah contend with isn’t a high school quarterback, or a fist-pumping “Jersey Shore” wannabe — it’s the devil.
That’s because when the trio aren’t shopping, practicing karate or singing musical theater in local productions, they’re performing exorcisms on people who’ve found themselves demonically possessed.
“We’re just normal girls who do something extraordinary for God,” Brynne, 17, told ABC “Nightline.” “After seeing an actual exorcism in person, led by us, you will walk away with no doubt, whatsoever.” Read more …
The State of Texas, beautiful and God-blessed land led by the white conservative men Jesus always intended it to be led by, rewards people who go to premarital counseling. The prize? You get to waive your license fee and don’t have a three-day waiting period between obtaining the license and getting married.
I discovered this fun new law while checking out marriage licenses generally, and learned that as of March 1, 2011, Texans getting married can either pay an increased fee for a license or get their asses to a counselor for an eight-hour course that will allow them to waive it.
The program is called, barfily enough, Twogether in Texas. I figured hey, if we can waive the fee and get counseling, that might be kind of cool. Of course, it’ll have to be free counseling because otherwise, there’s no money saved in waiving the fee. And we’re sure not paying a stranger hundreds of dollars to tell us we love each other and agree on major life issues like children (not for us, thanks), money (let’s make a reasonable amount of it and share it with each other) and religion (we’ll pass). Duh. That’s why we’re getting married. Keep reading »